Baphia nitida (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Baphia nitida Lodd.

Family: Leguminosae

Vernacular names

  • Camwood, barwood (En).


Native of western tropical Africa. Formerly cultivated as a dyewood, especially in Sierra Leone; rarely planted in botanical gardens in South-East Asia.


The heartwood is used for dyeing cotton and wool red. The plant is also used for hedges, and the leaves as fodder. The wood is suited for turnery.


A shrub or small tree up to 10 m tall. The principal dyeing substance in the wood is santalin. Camwood is reportedly easy to cultivate, and can be propagated by seeds and cuttings. It may have potential as a dye plant in South-East Asia.

Selected sources

12, 17, 28, 31, 49.